Drumglass Park is located between the Lisburn and Malone Roads in south Belfast. It is popular with families and young children.
Where is Drumglass Park?
Drumglass Park lies between the Lisburn and Malone Roads in Belfast. It is a popular hangout for families and young children.
Drumglass Park takes its name from the estate previously owned by Henry Musgrave, a well-known landowner who was elected an Honorary Burgess of the City of Belfast in 1917. He lived in Drumglass House, one of the most prestigious houses in the Malone Road area.
After his death in 1922, the six acres of property he owned were left to the city to be used as a public park or children’s playground.
Lady Mayoress of Belfast, Lady Turner, opened the park, which was initially named Drumglass Playcentre, to the public on 9 September 1924. The house and site’s remaining grounds are now part of Victoria College Girls’ School.
Drumglass Park Today
Drumglass Park hosts music events during the summer months. The park was refurbished and new sculptures were added, in the process.
Artist Eleanor Wheeler was commissioned by Belfast City Council for the new artwork joining local schools, Fane Street Primary and Victoria College, and community groups in the design process which led to the creation of 3 pine cone sculptures located across the park.
As part of the £400,000 project, funded by Belfast City Council, the playground was refurbished; pathways in the park upgraded and new park furniture and lighting were installed.
Alderman Tommy Sandford, Chair of the council’s People and Communities Committee, said:
“Drumglass Park is a focal point for the community here in south Belfast. Drumglass has been transformed to be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The stunning, eye-catching pine cone sculptures, in particular, will draw in many more new visitors to the park now.”
Who is Henry Musgrave?
Born in 1827, Henry Musgrave was a Northern Irish businessman and philanthropist and he was the man responsible for donating Musgrave Park in Belfast to the city.
The Musgrave family built Drumglass House in Malone in 1855, which now serves as Victoria College, a girls’ boarding school.
The family line ended with Henry Musgrave as none of the Musgrave children married, so there was no one to inherit the estate and properties.
Musgrave was heavily involved in charity work, especially concerning education and the Presbyterian Church. In 1921, he donated 2 kilometers of land to build Musgrave Park in Belfast. Drumglass Park was formed from six acres of the private garden of the Musgrave family once attached to their home. Musgrave left the garden to the City of Belfast in his will, stipulating that it should be used as a public park or children’s playground.
Not only that, but he also left funds in his will to support students at Queen’s University, Belfast.
Henry Musgrave in Pop Culture
A 2012 play, Ghosts of Drumglass, was performed in Drumglass Park as part of the 2012 Belfast Festival at Queen’s, depicting the life of Henry Musgrave and his family.
Victoria College Takes Over Drumglass House
In 1922, Victoria College purchased Drumglass House in order to expand its grounds. Vitaglass, the Great Hall and the Headmistress’s house were added in the late 1920s. While the house itself has not changed a great deal, it has been modernized to provide top notch facilities to the boarders.